What Processes are needed?

Part six of our Employee Engagement series looks at the processes that, if implemented, make it easier to create an environment where people can become engaged. In case you have missed the rest of the series, start at part 1. Our last post looked at what leadership behaviours are needed.

Before I discuss what process make a difference in creating Employee Engagement, I need to stress something about where many companies go wrong with these processes. Often ‘people’ processes are owned by Human Resources (either a person or a department depending on the size of the organisation). There is nothing wrong with this, in fact this is how it should be. However, too often, HR does more than own the processes; they manage them. This then translates into something that is being done ‘for’ HR, rather than a process designed by them to support the management and leadership of people. It is imperative that these processes do not become things which are done for a ‘tick in a box’; they are the processes which can make the difference that has employees feeling their manager, and therefore, the company, values them.

OK, rant over, so what processes help create an Employee Engagement environment?

Strategic Planning

This is not a people process, however, consideration must be given to how people are impacted by Strategic Planning. This may involve ensuring people are considered in how you will reach your strategic objectives. It may even be that you have a strategic objective involving the growth and development of your people. Regardless, there must be part of the process which covers how the strategic plan will be cascaded to the people; how the plan will be communicated to them in a way which not only has them understand it, but allows them to discuss it and therefore engage in it fully.

Performance Management

In many companies, this extends merely to appraisals or reviews. However, performance management is so much more. Performance management, broadly speaking, can come in two distinct ‘flavours’, which are required at different times in a company’s evolution. When the company is forming and growing for the first time, or most of the people are new or not reaching the required standard, then ‘performance‘ is king. At this stage, the single most important thing is that  people understand what performance is required of them, and this performance is regularly discussed with them – good or bad. When a company is performing, and what is desired is that extra achievement that comes from engaged employees, then ‘Growth‘ is king. This means having a process which looks after the personal growth of the people. Not the hierarchical development (although that may be part of it), but the ‘growth in place’ that is needed in most, relatively flat organisations. This will be covered in more detail in a future post.

Leadership Development

I know that this could be considered a training requirement. However, the development of leaders within an organisation is not simply about putting managers on a course. It is about having a process where the company has defined the leadership competencies it wants; has developed long term plans for the growth of these competencies in the managers; has integrated these competencies in to the performance management and recruitment process; and monitors and evaluates managers, at all levels, to ensure they are always striving to lead more effectively.

There are many other processes, mostly in the remit of HR, which can make a big difference. However, in my experience  if you have a process which considers the people aspect of Strategic Planning, communicates these plans, integrates the plans into a robust performance management process, and develop leadership competencies as part of an ongoing process, then the rest will look after itself. These processes, partnered with the Leadership behaviours and skills discussed in previous posts, will create the environment where people will readily choose to be more engaged.

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Employee Engagement is going to be the difference that makes all the difference in the future. Implementing the right people processes will set you on your way to having the best people, doing their best for you.